2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin

Executive PhD in Business Administration

The Daniels College of Business Executive PhD is a 90-credit hour comprehensive three-year blended program that immerses students in conducting applied business research. Students will gain rigorous research skills to address the complex programs facing business today. The program will integrate your career experience with a thorough education in quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis and mixed methods, teaching you to find powerful, data-driven business insights.

Daniels has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) since 1923.


The Daniels Executive PhD is a cohort-based program with lock-step curriculum which enables students to maximize cross-learning, collaboration and networking.

Class Schedules

This is a hybrid program delivered online and in-person. During the first two years of the program, students will attend nine on-campus immersions which are held from 8am – 5pm Friday and Saturday. In the third year of the program, students are required to come to campus at least once time to meet with their dissertation chair and committee.


There are no concentrations or electives offered for the Executive PhD Program. The dissertation stage of the program will enable students to conduct research in their area of interest.

Doctor of Philosophy in General Business

Degree and GPA Requirements

  • Bachelors degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.
  • Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.
  • Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Other Requirements

  • Applicants may be contacted by a Daniels representative to schedule an admissions interview, which will be conducted on campus or via webcam. The admissions interview is an opportunity for both you and Daniels staff to evaluate whether or not the program is a good fit. Interviews are by invitation only, sent after all other application requirements have been completed.

English Language Proficiency Test Score Requirements

The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for this degree program are:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (Internet-based test): 94 (No less than a 20 on any section)
  • Minimum TOEFL Score (Paper-based test): 575
  • Minimum IELTS Score: 7.0 (No less than a 6.0 on any section)
  • Minimum CAE Score: 185 (No less than a 170 on any section)

English Conditional Admission: No, this program does not offer English Conditional Admission.

Executive PhD in Business Administration

Degree Requirements

ACTG 6300Behavioral Research in Accounting Seminar4
BUS 6000Research Methods in Business4
BUS 6001Qualitative Research Methods4
BUS 6002Quantitative Methods I- Making Discoveries with Data 4
BUS 6003Quantitative Methods II - Making Discoveries with Data 4
BUS 6004Data Analytics4
BUS 6300Seminar in Cross Disciplinary Decision Making Research 4
BUS 6301Research Seminar in Innovation and Creativity4
BUS 6500Applied Research Practicum Series: I2
BUS 6501Applied Research Practicum Series: II4
BUS 6502Applied Research Practicum Series: III4
BUS 6503Applied Research Practicum IV 4
FIN 6300Seminar in Finance Research4
MGMT 6300Seminar in Leadership Strategy Research4
MGMT 6301Ethical Leadership Research Seminar4
MKTG 6300Marketing Research Seminar4
Dissertation Research in Business
Total Credits90

Non-Coursework Requirements

Comprehensive Exam

Every PhD student must pass the comprehensive exam. To qualify for the comprehensive exam, the student must complete the required coursework consisting of research methodology/statistics, research seminars and the Applied Research Practicum (ARP) series with a minimum GPA of a 3.0. In no case may more than one-fourth of the coursework counted toward comprehensive exam eligibility and earning the degree be grades of a “C." A grade lower than “C-renders the credit unacceptable for meeting eligibility to sit for the comprehensive exam and university degree requirements. Coursework taken at another university may not be applied to the coursework requirement.

The program chair will appoint a committee of scholarly qualified faculty to write the comprehensive exam.  This exam will cover topics in the research methodology/statistics and research seminar courses.  The exam will be take-home, and students will be given several days to complete it.   The committee will grade the exam, and make a recommendation to the program chair on whether a student passes or fails. A failed exam may lead to dismissal from the program.

Sufficiently prior to the exam date, the program chair will appoint an examination committee of scholarly qualified faculty. The committee creates the exam and grades it. After the exam, the committee makes a recommendation on whether the student passes or fails.

Dissertation Proposal Defense

Following successful completion of the comprehensive exam, each student will prepare a dissertation proposal and defend the proposal to the dissertation committee. A successful dissertation defense qualifies the student to Ph.D. candidacy. The dissertation proposal should be prepared in close consultation with the student’s advisor and should be available to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the exam. It should reflect an extensive critical literature survey, and contain an accurate assessment of the state-of-the-art in the area of research, a precise statement of the research question, motivation for pursuing the research, and the research method design that will be used to answer the research question.

The dissertation proposal must be successfully defended within four quarters of passing the comprehensive exam. Successful defense of the dissertation results in agreement between the student and the committee as to what will constitutes successful completion of the dissertation research.

The composition of the dissertation proposal committee must comply with the standards specified by the University of Denver Doctoral Degree Requirements and Standards. The dissertation proposal defense is an oral closed exam. If a student successfully defends the dissertation proposal but subsequently switches advisor and hence topic, the dissertation defense must be repeated within one year to ensure capability of the student and feasibility of the project.

Dissertation Defense

After the dissertation has been completed, the student must defend it in a final oral exam, as specified by the University of Denver Doctoral Degree Requirements and Standards.

University of Denver Doctoral Degree Requirements and Standards


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